Park Place, perhaps Georgia Avenue's most momentous new development, was celebrated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The new apartment building, a $71 million, 200,000 square-foot housing and retail project atop the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station, was built by Donatelli Development. Donatelli teamed with DC-based Gragg & Associates to work on the project, a 161-unit residential with 17,000 s.f. of ground floor retail. Mayor Fenty issued a press release and said the opening of Park Place meant that "economic development on Georgia Avenue has finally arrived." Amen.
Though construction is still incomplete, the development will soon add 156 rental apartments and 5 rental town homes. The building will offer 20% of the space as affordable housing, something the community has long desired, according to Fenty. Residents will also have access to 187 underground parking spaces in addition to the Metro. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on the landscaped roof, which boasts views of the National Cathedral, Capitol Dome, and National Monument.
The retail space will be divided into 8 bays and the occupants will include a cafe, two sit-down restaurants and potentially a wine store. Local businesses from the U-Street area (familiar with Donatelli's project there) are considering coming to the area to build their second or third DC-location in the Georgia Avenue/Petworth Community, according to the developer.
Funding for the project came from several sources including $15 million from Canyon Johnson Urban Funds (a partnership with Magic Johnson), $55 million Citibank and $2 million of Graggs and Donatelli's own coffers "because of the financing state."
Donatelli was awarded the low-income supporting contract without govt. subsidy by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development through a competitive process in 2004, and construction began in 2006. The project was originally intended as a for-sale condominium, but the meltdown in condo prices in Petworth forced the conversion to for-rent units. Chris Donatelli has had a busy few weeks, just last week we reported on his planned development adjacent to the Benning Road Metro. Donatelli, which also revitalized Columbia Heights, is building another, smaller apartment building across the street from Park Place.